Innovation: get details about Innovate UK funding competitions

Guidance for business and academic organisations on how to access funding through Innovate UK.
Innovate UK runs the following funding competitions. Each competition has a different application process and eligibility criteria.
1. Catalysts
You can get £150,000 to £10 million from Innovate UK to run a research and development project. You can use this funding to test and develop an innovative idea and make it successful. Your project can help to create new knowledge or develop a new product, process or service.
2. Collaborative research and development
 You could get from £25,000 to £5 million or more from Innovate UK to fund a research and development (R&D) programme. You could use this funding to test and develop a new product, process or service.
Innovate UK runs collaborative R&D funding competitions to solve specific technical or societal challenges. Grant levels vary but you may get funding for up to 60% of your project costs. You will need to fund the remaining costs yourself.
3. Eurostars
Innovate UK can help you access EU funding through the Eurostars programme.

You can use this funding for research or to develop an innovative product, process or service. You can find partners from other European countries to work with on your project.

You can get up to €300,000 to cover 50% of your project costs. You will need to fund the remaining costs yourself.

4. Feasibility studies
You can get up to £400,000 from Innovate UK to test a business idea and see if it will work. You could use this funding to develop a new product, process, model, experience or service.

You may also be able to showcase your completed project at a Collaboration Nation event.

Grant levels vary but you may get funding for up to 70% of your project costs if you are a business. You will need to fund the remaining costs yourself. Research organisations can get up to 100%. Projects can be collaborative or just your business working alone.

5. Horizon 2020

Innovate UK can help you access EU funding through the Horizon 2020 programme. You can use this funding to:

  • achieve something that’s too big to do alone
  • work with other organisations across a value chain
  • gain access to science and technology
  • draw on skills and expertise you don’t have
  • find opportunities to trial innovative solutions
6. Innovation Vouchers

You can get up to £5,000 from Innovate UK to pay for an external expert to help your business grow.

You can use this expert to develop or improve an innovative idea for a new product, process or service. Or they could show you how to use design within your business or how to manage and use intellectual property.

Innovate UK can help you find and choose an expert from one of the following:

  • universities and further education colleges
  • research and technology institutes
  • technical consultancies and Catapult centres
  • design advisers
  • intellectual property advisers

 

7. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

You could get funding of around £80,000 from Innovate UK to improve your business by working with a research organisation and newly-qualified graduate.

This funding covers part of the cost of a graduate working in your company on a specific innovation project. Your research partner will supervise the graduate’s work.

Grant levels vary. If you are a small or medium-sized business you can get funding of up to 67% of the project costs. Larger businesses can get up to 50%. You will need to fund the remaining costs yourself.

 

8. Launchpads

You can get up to £100,000 to turn an innovative idea into a commercial project. You can also get business support and coaching to attract private investment.

Innovate UK runs Launchpad funding competitions to help technology-focused companies in specific geographic clusters.

 

9. Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI)

You can win a contract to research and develop a new product or service for the public sector. Your innovative idea can help improve public services by solving a specific problem.

You can win initial funding of around £50,000 to £100,000 to test your idea and see if it will work. You can win a further contract worth up to £1 million or more to develop this idea.

 

10. Smart

 You can get £25,000 to £250,000 from Innovate UK to run an R&D project. You could use this funding to develop a new product, process or service.
Grant levels vary. You can get funding of up to 60% of your project costs to prove that your idea will work or to find a potential market. You can get funding of up to 45% to develop a prototype. You will need to fund the remaining costs yourself.

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